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Thanks for reading!
I'm still madly working on the Case of the Crossdressing Earl, but the edits are finally coming through. I keep finding places, though, where I put a note to look something up later, and I haven't always found what I need.
Right now I need a poem. It can be in English or another European language that has been translated to English, and this must be before 1810 (as my characters must know it). It can be incredibly famous, or rather obscure, but suitable that a young lady would have read it.
The important part is the substance. There must be a marriage in the poem between two people who are only marrying for convenience. It can be for title, or money, or to fulfill an ancient prophecy, or to save a friend, but it cannot be for love. Neither party can love each other at the start of the story, or even by the time they are married. Bonus points though if the couple fall in love throughout the poem, and especially if they end up living happily ever after. Note — I'd prefer to skip poems about rape like the Wife of Bath's Tale, although dammit, it would have been perfect except for that bit.
Research done: Reading a LOT of Restoration, Renaissance and Medieval poetry, scouring themes for Marriage of Convenience — I even checked in TV Tropes, (and got out alive)
Already searched : “medieval illness/disease”, “medieval epidemics”, “epidemics”, etc + the various diseases that presented themselves during those searches but without much success for my specific set of requirements. So I turn to you lovely people for help ...
Setting : Medieval (late 12th century) - Middle east (present day Lebanon) in a big city along the coast
I need a disease which can hit my medieval middle eastern city and kill a portion of its inhabitants.
Here my various criterias :
The outbreaks starts in mid/late June, peaks in July and August and is mostly gone by the end of August with a few people still dying in early September.
I don't want to wipe them out. I just need something which would cause a significant number of person to die but leave enough people alive so that society doesn't crumble (let say a third/half the population gets it and about half / two thirds of the sick people die but I'm really not fussy with number, basically enough to be noticeable and worrying enough for people to leave the city and be scared of catching it but something from which they rebound easily enough without much consequences beside the loss of family members/friends.)